IWSG - October

Insecure Writers Support Group is a monthly opportunity for writers to support one another, gripe, whine, cheer, and jeer about this crazy thing we do. It was created by Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's super-fab co-hosts are: TB MarkinsonTamara NarayanEva E. SolarShannon Lawrence, and Stephanie Faris.  

So... I started a new job a few weeks ago. Awesome! I had a lovely six months of sabbatical, during which I learned so much about writing. Craft, and business, and found a writing group. Fantastic. During that time I started gearing my blogging more toward writing-centric topics, because that's what I was doing at the time, and it's what I'd heard people (fans?) enjoy reading - about the process, where you're at with writing, etc.

And I started dreading writing blog posts.

Not my IWSG posts, because those are more about connecting with other writers. But the ones about what I was up to and how my writing was going, and interesting tips or things I'd learned? Ehhhhhh... Not that I don't care about those things, but I don't seem to care to write about those things. And so my blogging slowed.

And then, the weekend before I started my job, I attended a writing conference. Awesome! Met incredible people, learned a lot, watched a gal from my new writing group place in the top five of a competition. So great. I pitched one of my novels to an editor and she requested a full manuscript.

Holy. Crap. Let me say that again - she requested a full manuscript. Not just the first couple chapters. The Whole Thing. So freaking amazing! I never in a million years imagined that my first ever-in-my-life pitch would result in a request for the full manuscript.

Said manuscript is currently in a first-draft pantsed version that is in no way ready to be seen by an editor, agent, or anyone else.

I'd rather write about places like this than about writing,
ya know? (This is from our Mt. Zirkel trip in July)
So for the last three weeks I've been getting accustomed to my new job, schedule, etc, trying desperately to figure out how in the heck I am going to edit the pantsed beast I have on my hands, and utterly ignoring my blog.

I've made a decision. I'm going back to my blog being about whatever random thing I want to write about - recipes, hiking photos, thoughts on current events. If people want to hear about writing progress they can sign up for my email list. Hopefully this will mean that blogging goes back to being a fun thing, and I can feel less anxiety about writing as a whole.

And then maybe between now and next IWSG I will have something written on my blog that isn't just about how much I suck at blogging.

What do you do when you've lost focus on your blogging or other writing? Any fun accomplishments lately?


Just sent my monthly newsletter!

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Have a great long weekend, everyone :)


IWSG - September 2015

Yesterday I watched Brene Brown's talk "Why Your Critics Aren't the Ones Who Count". The talk is directed at creative people and is a pep talk, of sorts. A timely pep talk for me.

After this month, I needed it. August was one of those months where I felt like nothing quite worked right. I didn't get as much writing done as I wanted to in July or August. My inner critic was LOUD about calling me a 'failed blogger' and 'insufficient writer' and telling me, 'you're so unskilled - how can you think that you are good enough to tackle these projects?' I had some health issues that made me just.. exhausted.

But I got some stuff done and actually if I concentrate on the good, August was a pretty great month. I accepted a new job at a company I will be proud to work for. They'll be paying me an appropriate wage for my work (no more being massively underpaid in education), and they won't expect me to work any over time (omg amazing). We went on an incredible, stunning five day backpacking trip. I started attending a writer's group of ladies that I adore.

And yet it's the bad that I think about. *shakes head* Those inner critics are beastly creatures.

This is a quote Brene shared in her talk. I've decided to take it to heart, and hope y'all will too.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..." Theodore Roosevelt

And seriously - go watch the whole talk.

Insecure Writers Support Group is a monthly opportunity for writers to support one another, gripe, whine, cheer, and jeer about this crazy thing we do. It was created by Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's super-fab co-hosts are: Heather M. Gardner, Christine Raines, Dolorah at Book Lover, Julie Flanders and Murees Dupe


I'm a total blogging slacker!

I've really been neglecting this place! Eek. I even missed IWSG last week because I just wasn't paying attention. Too much going on.

Last week I accepted a new full-time job. I have absolutely adored spending my summer writing, but the position offers me a chance to do work in another passion area and I couldn't pass it up. So! I am facing another life-reorganization. Thankfully this new job will not be nearly as time-intensive as the old one, so I will still have ample time to get my writing done. I might even be more organized about it! One can hope.

In other news, this fall I am one of the judges for the 2015 Bold New Worlds high school writing contest! It's a contest for high schoolers writing short stories in the speculative fiction genre. This year's theme is Creative Creatures and I can't wait to see what the students come up with! Contest prizes include cash for the top 3, critiques, and publication in an anthology. The prizes are funded by sales of last year's anthology. Submissions will be accepted through November 1, so please help us get the word out!


Just a quick update

I haven't been feeling super great the last couple days, so a quick update this week.

I'm participating in #CampNaNoWriMo this month, and so far it's going really well! I am having a ball with my project. I've been spending mornings writing and afternoons editing another project, so things are just humming along :)

Here's a pic I shared yesterday:

What are you working on this week?


It's kind-of a big deal

Happy to be done!
Happy Monday, all!
I hope my US friends had a great 4th of July. And did y'all see that Women's World Cup Final? Incredible!

I completed my first half-marathon on Saturday. Crazy, right? Yeah I think so too. It seemed like a good idea when I signed up, and then for a couple days before (and for the last 3 miles of the race hah) I was like, "why did I think this was a good idea??" And then I finished, and the excitement and runner's high said, "this is why this was a good idea."

I find that writing is similar. I often get to a point halfway through a project and think, "why am I doing this? Why did I think this idea was worth all this work?" but then when it's finished and I finally get to show it to other people I am reminded why I do this. I do it because it's hard. Because it allows me to connect with people I might not otherwise. Because being able to say "I published a book" or two, or three, is a BIG DEAL.

I ran a half marathon. I wasn't the fastest by any stretch, but I did it. I put in the work, the sweat, the blisters, and I did it. It's a BIG DEAL.

What are you working on right now that is a BIG DEAL in your life?

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